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Feeding A Rescue Pet

July 1, 2023

Have you recently adopted a rescue pet? Good for you! It can take time for animals to adjust into their new homes, and to really feel safe there. One thing you’ll have to navigate during this transition is your pet’s dietary needs. A Plano, IL vet offers some advice on that in this article.

Make Changes Slowly

Rapid dietary changes can upset your furry friend’s stomach. If you know what your new pet has been eating, start out with that same brand. Talk to your vet before making any adjustments. If you are advised to switch brands, make the switch to the new products slowly, over the course of several days. 

Talk To Your Vet

Animals’ diets are definitely not one-size-fits-all. A Chihuahua puppy, a senior German Shepherd, and a pregnant Poodle are all going to have different nutritional needs. Breed, age, size, and health all play roles here. As soon as you can, bring your furry buddy to the vet, and get him a thorough exam. This will be a great time to get some specific recommendations.

Don’t Skimp On Treats

Normally, we advise against going overboard with treats. However, food can go a long way towards helping a rescued pet feel safe, secure, and loved. It’s also important for bonding. It’s fine to spoil your furry friend a little that first week. Just use smaller snacks, so you don’t overfeed them.

Consider Doggy DNA

As mentioned above, breed plays a role in your pet’s nutritional needs. If you’ve adopted a mutt, it may be in your best interests to get Fido’s DNA tested, so you can find out what breeds are in his family tree. This can definitely be helpful when it comes to food!

Share The Love

Don’t forget about all of the animals out there who need to be fed and cared for. This is a great chance to do something for charity. There are quite a few ways to go about this. You can simply drop off supplies at a local shelter. Or you can also look for shelters in different areas, and help them with their wish lists.  There’s definitely no shortage of wonderful places to look at. Technically, you don’t even have to stick with pets. Rescued wildlife counts, too!

Our Advice on Feeding A Rescue Pet in 2024

How should you introduce dietary changes to a rescue pet?

When introducing dietary changes to a rescue pet, it’s crucial to do so gradually to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food. Gradually increase the proportion of new food while decreasing the old food over several days, typically a week or more. This slow transition helps their digestive system adjust. Monitor your pet for any signs of gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If any issues arise, consult your veterinarian. It’s also advisable to choose high-quality food appropriate for your pet’s age, breed, and health status.

Why is it important to consult a vet about a rescue pet’s diet?

Consulting a vet about a rescue pet’s diet is important because each animal has unique nutritional needs based on factors like age, breed, health status, and activity level. A vet can assess your pet’s overall health, identify any specific dietary requirements or deficiencies, and recommend an appropriate diet plan. This is especially crucial for rescue pets who may have underlying health issues or have experienced nutritional neglect. A vet’s guidance ensures your pet receives a balanced diet that supports their health, wellbeing, and adjustment to their new home.

What factors influence a rescue pet’s nutritional needs?

A rescue pet’s nutritional needs are influenced by several key factors. Age is a primary consideration, as puppies and kittens, adults, and seniors have different dietary requirements. Breed plays a role, especially with breed-specific health predispositions. Size and activity level also dictate caloric and protein needs. Importantly, health status, including any underlying medical conditions or past nutritional deficiencies, must be considered. A history of trauma or stress can affect dietary needs as well. Personalizing their diet based on these factors ensures optimal health and wellbeing for your rescue pet.

Is it okay to give treats to a rescue pet, and how should you manage it?

Yes, it’s okay to give treats to a rescue pet, but it should be done judiciously. Treats can be a valuable tool for bonding and training, helping your pet feel secure and loved in their new home. However, it’s important to manage the quantity to avoid overfeeding. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your pet’s daily caloric intake to maintain a balanced diet. Opt for healthy options, and consider using smaller, low-calorie treats. Also, be mindful of any dietary restrictions or allergies your pet may have.

How can you support animal charities and shelters with your rescue pet?

Supporting animal charities and shelters with your rescue pet can be done in various ways. One effective method is to donate supplies like food, blankets, or toys to local shelters. Volunteering your time for shelter activities or foster programs is also invaluable. Additionally, participating in fundraising events or campaigns that benefit animal welfare organizations can make a significant impact. Sharing your rescue pet’s story on social media can raise awareness and encourage others to adopt or support shelters. Lastly, consider making financial donations, as these funds directly assist in the care and resources needed for animals awaiting homes.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Plano, IL animal clinic, today!

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